Home DIVORCE NEWSPAPER US Divorce Headlines When your spouse treats you “cruelly” can you get a divorce?

When your spouse treats you “cruelly” can you get a divorce?

In any other state other than New York, the answer is probably yes, 100% of the time, because all other states are “no fault” states which means you don’t have to prove anything other than “incompatibility” or “irreconcilable differences” or some permutation thereto.

In New York, you better be prepared to show serious misconduct on the part of your spouse that includes a pattern of behavior, threats, use of weapons, sustained verbal abuse and such things as flaunting adulterous relationships, locking you out of the house, threatening to cut off your genitals and going on wild spending sprees, to name a few.

Basically you have to establish that to continue to cohabit with your spouse would be to your physical and/or psychological detriment. There is generally no defense to cruelty. But the court does factor in the behavior of the complaining spouse in deciding whether to grant or deny the petition for divorce. In other words, there is such a thing called the Doctrine of provocation and what that basically means is that if the complaining spouse is suing the other for cruelty, but said spouse has a habit of provoking the misconduct by doing or not doing something, then that might factor into whether or not a divorce is granted on those grounds.

Again, what are some of the things that could constitute cruelty?

1) flaunting an adulterous relationship.

2) physical violence (one beat down is enough)

3) repeated ranting, raving, drug-induced cuss downs, calling names, unjustifiably accusing the other of adultery, calling the other crazy, doing things to make the other act crazy, locking the other out of the marital residence…calling the other a “lesbian” or a “gay” if this is not the truth, refusing to provide support for the other if support is needed and you are capable of providing said support….

4) refusing to have sex with the other for no good reason, especially for a prolonged period of time…

5) gambling away all the marital assets

6) Engaging in criminal behavior that could affect the wellbeing and safety of the other spouse; using drugs or alcohol (but coupled with other things)…etc.

As a general rule, the longer the marriage, the higher the burden of proof for a cruelty  divorce.

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